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8. Producing Sign Language Videos

Recommended Equipment for Studio Setup




  • Professional Digital Camera


     1920 x 1080 Resolution

  • Lighting system


     Main, Flat, Filler and Rear

  • Camera tripod


     Standardized camera mount

  • Green Screen


     9 x 10 feet backdrop

  • Professional microphone


     Dynamic microphone   
  • A set of headphones


     Professional semi-open microphones
  • Microphone stand


     free-standing mount for a microphone
  • Editing software


     Adobe Premiere Pro

  • Camera format
    • The camera should be digital, because of its superior ease of use, quality, and edition.
    • The camera should have at least 8 GB of storage.
    • It should be a camera that can film in high definition, HD: The exact quality to be used is decided in post-production, but for editing purpose, it is crucial that the filming is as high quality as possible.
    • The camera should preferably have a manual configuration.
    • The camera should preferably have a manual lens.
    • The camera should preferably have automatic or manual White Balance.

Image showing the Camera format Nikon D7100

  • Lighting system
  • Point lighting
    • The main light positioned about 45 degrees right or left of the subject and 45 degrees downward, pointing to where the face and torso are located.
    • A filler light located behind and opposite to the main light, at the height of the camera,
    • Rear light that is slightly above the subject, shining back to the screen or chroma
  • Flat lighting
    • Two lights positioned behind the camera, in opposite directions, in order to cover the entire surface and eliminate shadows.

Image showing the Lighting System

  • Sound Recording
    • The recording of the voiceover should be in WAV format, which provides the best audio quality
    • The recording should take place in a recording studio or in a controlled environment that is acoustically desirable and isolated to reduce background noise.
    • The microphone should a high sensitivity digital microphone, preferably unidirectional
    • Closed or semi-open headphones
    • Microphone stand: this makes the work easier and helps avoid vibrations
    • Editing software such as Audacity will be used

Saramonic Recording Equipments

Image of the studio showing the necessary distances

  • The camera and the signer 6m
  • The reflectors and the camera 5m
  • The green screen and the camera 7m
  • The screen and the signer 3m

  • Video editing
    • The video to have a voice-over, which can be turned on and off.
    • The voice will accompany the sign language, not the text.
    • The duration of each film block is calculated and then used to time the voice recording, which should last about the same as the sign language block.
    • In the case of literary texts, the voice-over will accompany the written text.
    • In the case of storytelling, voice-over accompanies the narrator.
    • The team will convene persons to put their voice on the text or story.
    • A detailed timeline will be developed by the reader and the sound engineer.
    • Each reader will practice reading according to the speed of the sign language narration.
    • The reader must agree to the use of his or her voice.
    • During the recording, an assistant will make sure that the reading of the text, the pronunciation, intonation, and the timing are adequate.
    • The sound engineer edits the voices and sends the files to the coordinator, who checks them before sending them to the editor

Image showing the editing process of the video using Adobe Premiere Pro  

Image showing the end product: EPUB for the video

Image of the Signer, Background and the text caption

  • Signing Actor
    • The clothing used by the actors must be one color, either black or white, depending on the skin color of the presenter
    • The clothing or the hair must not interfere with the clear understanding of the signs and during editing
    • High contrast between the signer’s hands and the video background color
  • Caption text 
    • Make subtitles optional for the videos, i.e. that the videos can be watched with or without subtitles.
    • Color: White fill, Black stroke, and large font

Image from original PDF book

  • how we take only the image and added it into the video
    • Open the PDF in Acrobat, and then choose Tools > Export PDF
    • Click Image and then choose the image file format that you want to save the images in.
      • JPEG
      • NPG
    • Click Save to save only the images from the PDF to the selected file format
    • Place the image in the video

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